Sales Tax Increase Proposed in Cape Girardeau

Sales Tax Increase Propsed in Cape Girardeau
By: CJ Cassidy
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Cape Girardeau city leaders say they're considering a sales tax increase to help improve parks and storm water sewers in the city.

The dog days of summer are just around the corner. So a lot of us enjoy cooling off in area parks and swimming pools.  But what if these public parks and swimming pools needed improvement?  Would you be willing to help pay the cost?

It depends on who you talk to.
Of course no one's thrilled to hear about another tax proposal, and city leaders in Cape Girardeau say they will consider your opinion before they decide if they'll put the issue on the ballot.
"We come to the park a lot. My niece and nephew come out almost everyday, and I want it to be safe for them - I don't want them to come out and fall off a board because it's not tightened or anything," Lani Carr says sitting out at Cape's Capaha Park.
No one's saying the situation is quite so bad - but a proposed half cent sales tax would go towards sprucing up Cape parks and funding storm water projects.
"When you look at the budget, and you've done your job and tightened the budget up and you've made sure you're not over spending in other areas, to make a big difference - the only source of funds is a tax," Mayor Jay Knudtson says.
The proposed increase would raise the sales tax from 7.5% to almost 8%, and the Mayor has some reservations of his own.
"We're the economic hub right now. We have people coming into our community on a daily basis, that approaches 100,000 folks daily. But we could reach a point where they say you know what Cape Girardeau has too high of a tax, we're going to go elsewhere," he says.
Shoppers like Betty Sitzes agrees. She drives more than an hour to get to Cape from Grassy, and says an extra tax would cut into her budget.
"I wouldn't like it. Who wants to pay more for anything really? I think the prices of gas and so on are putting a bind on people the way it is."
"There's too many taxes right now. We need to step back and see what we need," Rob Roberts of Cape Girardeau says.
But others like Mindy Denton, say you can always make adjustments.
"I would be in favor of it. But I have small children. If it's going to help with parks and things for them, then I'm for it," she says.
City leaders say they want to hear from you, and hear your suggestions if you have any.
City Council members will host a special study session at 5pm Tuesday at the Osage Community Center to talk about the proposed sales tax increase.